The Walt Disney Co. said Friday it completed its acquisition of Lucasfilm, the moviemaking company founded by George Lucas, for a cash payment of $2.21 billion and just under 37.1 million Disney shares, officially giving the massive media conglomerate free reign over the multi-billion-dollar Star Wars franchise.
Based on the $50 closing price of Disney shares, the purchase price was $4.06 billion, slightly less than the $4 billion Disney paid for Marvel Entertainment in 2009 though far less than the $7.4 billion it paid for Pixar in 2006. Beyond the Star Wars franchise, Friday’s purchase also includes operating businesses in live action film production, as well as a substantial portfolio of entertainment technologies, Disney said Friday. Operational brands include Lucasfilm, LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Lucasfilm to the Disney family,” said CEO Bob Iger. “Star Wars is one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time and this transaction combines that world-class content with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses and markets, which we believe will generate growth as well as significant long-term value.”
In late October, Disney announced it was buying Lucasfilm and commissioning a new Star Wars movie to be released in 2015. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy will executive produce the film, which will be written by Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt.